Pretty interesting article from PC World about what goes into making a laptop. One thing that is striking is the number of substances (at least 20), and number of countries (over 10) involved in the process. Laptops are truly a global product.
Obviously, the impact on the environment for this is a little hard to calculate, with all these parts being shipped all over the world; why don't we leave it as 'a lot'. It does bring into question whether buying locally manufactured electronics would be the proper thing to do. This debate is already raging in auto world, where claims have been made that a locally made Hummer is more eco than a foreign made Prius. Should we buy locally made electronic devices? Does such a option even exist, or could it be created?